March 30, 2017
Mohammed Ali Jinnah Memorial Mosque, St. Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago, Source: Wiki Commons
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis the growth of Islamic extremism in Latin America is a major security threat to the US
(WASHINGTON, DC) Growing Islamic extremism in Latin America constitutes a “major security threat” to the United States, according to an analysis published this month by the National Center for Policy Analysis.
“The threat from Islamic extremists in Latin America remains an overlooked aspect of U.S. national security strategy,” NCPA senior fellow David Grantham argued.
Grantham noted that “Saudi Arabia has invested millions to construct mosques and cultural centers in South America and Central America that expand the reach of its rigid version of Islam, known as Wahhabism.”
“The international spread of Saudi dogma, which the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities worldwide, Farah Pandith, called ‘insidious,’ has laid the foundation for likeminded radicals to thrive in other areas of Latin America,” he explained.
Later in the brief, Grantham noted that the “threats to U.S. security in the Greater Caribbean region are even more alarming in Trinidad and Tobago. The small island nation off the coast of Venezuela, once the target of an overthrow by Islamic militants, has also become a breeding ground for ISIS — 70 of the 100 Latin Americans known to have joined ISIS originated from the small country.”
The ease of mobility Islamic extremists have in Latin America is also cause for concern.
Perhaps the greatest Islamic extremist threat in Latin America, though, is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which Grantham said could potentially strike the US from Latin America as a retaliatory act.